Four bright, pop colors and metallics make up a new edition that I’ll be putting the finishing touches on this week. It was great fun to be out in the studio again for most of the extended Memorial Day weekend. I loosened up as the weekend progressed, revisiting some older artwork applied with new colors that ended up leading to some new ideas.
I’m still amazed that one little sketch or one little accident can open up new worlds of experience. Just when you think you’ve got it all figured out or think that nothing new can be created, all of a sudden something new rises to the surface. I really have no idea why after years of designing and making, after years in art school and working professionally that I’m still surprised at all of this, but I am. Inspiration always comes. It may leave you hanging for way too long, but eventually it always comes.
Nevertheless, there’s lots of new stuff that came out of these sessions that I’ll share with you over the next few weeks.
The Philadelphia Mural Arts Program enlisted Berlin-based painter Katharina Grosse to lead its latest public arts project. With the finishing touches just recently completed, psychylustro unfolds along Philly’s regional rail lines. That’s SEPTA’s R7 and R8 lines just north of Center City, to be specific.
psychylustro takes as its substrate the barren walls and patches of land along the tracks for vast, sprayed fields of color. Bright, sickly hues blanket the ground and crumbling structures in rhythmic bands that offer a shocking counterpoint to the neutral tones of the urban scene. Kind of like a failed form of camoflauge, the “murals” appear to call attention to the landscape and trigger curiosity about the viewer’s role as a spectator traveling through it. After all, only glimpses of scenery are available to the commuter who speeds past on the regional rail lines.
In this way, Grosse’s use of the train as a vehicle (no pun intended) for experience is a nice twist. Rather than looking at a mural from a static vantage point, these pieces are intended to be viewed while moving through space in a brief amount of time. So, what then is conveyed? And what does it look like? Having seen only still images, we can only imagine what the true experience must be like.
If you have the opportunity to see psychylustro, please let us know. We’re curious to hear how it all plays out.
Just finished up this three-color geometric print last weekend. Clean and simple modernism perfect for summer.
Available now in the shop.
French Vanilla coming right up.
Working on multiple print editions at once has its benefits, but right now I’m just seeing the costs. Mix, pull, rinse, repeat. Though there are lots of pretty colors to look at and good jazz to listen to, so I really shouldn’t complain. Jazz is a great soundtrack for printing. Always has been for me. Right now I have Art Blakey and Stan Getz duking it out for time on the hi-fi. And Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue is always great for an early morning session.
But, ahem, back to the matter at hand. When screenprinting with multiple colors, there’s no immediate reward. The artwork you labored over just looks like a jumbled bunch of color fields. That is until the final color is pulled. It’s only at that moment when everything comes into focus and all the pieces fit. It is a pretty glorious moment. And it really does make it all worthwhile. It just takes so long to get there sometimes.